It could be argued that no position has changed more in the NFL’s history than the tight end. Once primarily a sixth offensive lineman who would catch the occasional pass, tight ends have become key cogs on offense.
The Cleveland Browns are pretty much what most observers expected this season – the worst team in the NFL. When they traded down in the draft from No. 2 to No. 15, leaving the best quarterbacks for other teams, the message was clear. They were stockpiling picks and rebuilding.
Jimmy Garoppolo earned himself a future NFL starting job. Rookie Jacoby Brissett reminded us about heart and toughness. LeGarrette Blount became the 575th Patriot in the last decade-plus to rebuild his career after being left for dead by other teams. It all added up to a 3-1 record, good enough to put the New England Patriots atop their division.
Cincinnati won the AFC North for the second time in three years last season, but lost in the Wild Card Round for the fifth straight season. The Bengals will try once again to get over that hump this season, but will face a stiff test from the Steelers and Ravens, which are hoping for better health after stumbling to 5-11 in 2015.
The calendar has turned to July, which means it’s almost time for the NFL to get back to business. The regular season doesn’t start until Sept. 8, but teams will open training camp later this month, officially starting the path for what eventually will lead to Super Bowl LI in NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.